The new “human-powered search engine” Mahalo, which launched on Wednesday, aims to create about 10,000 individual Web pages that will correspond to the most popular Internet searches. (A “Jordin Sparks” search, for example, brings up the Jordin Sparks page, which contains all sorts of hand-fed links.) Mahalo has a cadre of out-of-work actors and other “guides” beavering away to compile these pages, presumably starting with the most important ones. As with all human endeavors, alas, vanity comes into the picture. In the first batch of 4,000 pages, Mahalo founder Jason Calacanis (disclosure: he was my boss during Internet 1.0) managed to get one, perhaps not surprisingly, as did investors Fred Wilson, Elon Musk and Mark Cuban. Less notable persons weren’t so lucky, including Abraham Lincoln, Colin Powell and Jesus Christ. (“Oops! We haven’t hand-written a result page for ‘Jesus Christ’ yet,” the site admits when you search for J.C. Instead, it suggests you visit four “related” pages it has finished: Jesus in Food, Jesus Camp, Christmas and Mitt Romney.) Just goes to show that even in Web 2.0, it’s all about who you know.
—Posted by Brian Morrissey